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February 26, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Lots of work ahead

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Don’t forget Geoff Baker Live! coming up at 10 a.m.
A shot this morning of Felix Hernandez, who takes the mound later today against the Padres with a pitch-count limit of 35. The Mariners made a lot of mistakes in yesterday’s Charity Game loss and they aren’t about to shrug their shoulders and walk away. There will be some situational baserunning drills taking place this morning — and every day after spring training games in which errors in judgement occur.
Even is some scenarios that looked OK yesterday, such as the Mariners drawing a bunch of late-game walks to create scoring opportunities, the ballclub’s braintrust was not overly thrilled. I asked manager Don Wakamatsu about it this morning and he told me: “We took a lot of pitches. But I thought we took some pitches early in the count where we should have been swinging.”
Listen to Wakamatsu’s morning media session right here.
Wakamatsu went on to explain that the coaching staff wants to see the decision-making process of some players, especially since these spring training games don’t count for anything. As an example, he used a plate appearance late in the game by first baseman Mike Carp, a guy known to draw plenty of walks. Carp jumped ahead 3-0 in the count, but the coaching staff still gave him the green light to swing away. Carp wound up taking the pitch for Ball Four and Wakamatsu was pleased, since it was not a fat juicy pitch. But had it been, he would have liked Carp to swing away.
In this case, Wakamatsu was pleased to see Carp make “the right decision.”
Others, though, let some meaty fastballs drift right down the middle in an attempt to draw walks in what was, as we’ve told you, a meaningless game. So, those are the hidden elements to spring training that don’t always show up in boxscores. And those are elements Wakamatsu promised will be worked on in daily situational drills based off results of the previous day’s games.
Another change from last spring.
I ran into Ryan Feierabend in the clubhouse and he confirmed to me that there is almost zero chance he can avoid surgery next Wednesday. Feierabend will meet on Tuesday with Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for a pre-operative exam. Right now, unless Yocum spots something miraculous in the cursory examination, Feierabend will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday to determine the extent of damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. There is a suspicion it might only be scar tissue, since Feierabend did some minor damage to the ligament last fall and had an MRI in September.
If it’s only that, then he’s been told he’ll miss 3-to-6 weeks once it’s cleaned up.
But if the damage is more severe, then Yocum will perform “Tommy John” ligament transplant surgery immediately and Feierabend’s season will be over.
That’s going to be quite a surprise for Feierabend when he’s revived from surgery on Wednesday.
“Surprise, Ryan! We just did…”
Anyhow, needless to say, he’s crossing his fingers.
“I’m a bit nervous about it, yeah,” he said.
Adrian Beltre will play in tomorrow’s spring training game, not today’s. The plan is to play him about four innings at third base, then again on Saturday. Jose Lopez will also make his debut tomorrow, while Yuniesky Betancourt is slotted to go on Saturday.
Ken Griffey Jr. is scheduled to make his debut on Tuesday night in an exhibition against Team Australia. Won’t that be a treat for the few baseball players from that country who likely grew up idolizing Griffey in the 1990s?
Here are the lineups for today’s 12:05 p.m. game:
Seattle Mariners (0-0):
10 Endy Chavez (L) CF
9 Jeff Clement (L) DH
12 Mike Morse 3B
13 Chris Shelton 1B
69 Greg Halman LF
61 Mike Wilson RF
15 Jamie Burke C
6 Chris Woodward SS
1 Reegie Corona (S) 2B
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
Extra Pitchers:
56 Jarrod Washburn LHP
20 Denny Stark RHP
33 Tracy Thorpe RHP
53 David Aardsma RHP
54 Jose Lugo LHP
57 Mark Lowe RHP
64 Luis Muñoz RHP
65 Eric Hull RHP
66 Shawn Kelley RHP
71 Chris Jakubauskas RHP
72 Marwin Vega RHP
San Diego Padres (0-0):
33 Jody Gerut CF
8 Chris Burke 2B
24 Brian Giles RF
16 Cliff Floyd DH
49 Emil Brown LF
66 Kyle Blanks 1B
28 Henry Blanco C
18 Travis Denker 3B
1 Everth Cabrera SS
32 Chris Young RHP
Extra Pitchers:
70 Matt Buschmann RHP
45 Justin Hampson LHP
50 Joe Thatcher LHP
38 Cesar Carillo RHP
64 Edwin Moreno RHP
72 Nick Schmidt LHP
65 Arturo Lopez LHP
59 Chad Reineke RHP

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward


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